Introduction to Group Work

Today's class was a bit of a mystery to most of us when we first saw it on our outline, and we weren't sure what to expect. Would it be silly office-style team building exercises? Was the emphasis on group work because there had been some sort of issue last year with people not collaborating?

So to our pleasant surprise, this afternoon's class was focused on working as an ensemble, feeling the group energy, and being aware of one another in a physical and vocal way on stage. The class was led by Associate Director of RADA Nona Shepphard. Nona began the class with a nice long warmup, set to music. This warmup merged physical dance-style warmup with vocal warmup exercises. I really liked this merger of the two; so often we warmup our body and then our voice, or vice versa...but this really brought the two together. I suspect I will find myself doing some of these exercises moving forward.

From here, we moved into some living tableau work; creating various scenes only moving within specific limits, and feeling the group dynamic, not speaking to one another. This was challenging, particularly when it came to making really specific scenes (such as a plane crash in the do you communicate the desert bit??). We continued to do various physical exercises in the space as a group. We also moved into some familiar exercises; pattern in a circle (including a sound and gesture component) and selecting A/B to attract/repel. We ended with having to create an equilateral triangle of us, A and B, without speaking (or knowing whose A/B you might be). This was a really great metaphor for the creative process as we moved through our challenges and frustrations in trying to complete a task, while others did the same around us.